Reading may be one of the greatest tools for learning and personal development that there is. There are few actions that can potentiate life change like reading books can. We can spend hours reading articles online or watching videos to teach us how to do something, but it almost never amounts to the multitude of information that we can pick out of a book. Reading self development or teaching books can offer several benefits; not only does reading stimulate your mind and sharpen your vocabulary skills, but reading is also a potent source of real world and specialized knowledge.
Reading stimulates your mind.
Studies have shown over and over again that reading is a powerful exercise for the brain. People who read regularly tend to have: more depth in their vocabulary, better attention spans, better memory, less incidence of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, better writing skills, and increased critical thinking skills. Being exposed to well written material in published books expands your vocabulary and writing skills through immersion; reading consistently puts you around good writing and vocabulary. Reading also expands your attention span, focus, and memory; when we read a book we have to remember names, places, dates, and stories; as we learn to focus on more details in a book we increase our power of attention and our information recall simultaneously. Reading also increases our critical thinking skills; being exposed to complex plots and stories helps us to learn to assimilate information into a broader picture: we can think through ideas and information more precisely.
Reading can offer up encouragement.
When we read books like biographies, autobiographies, self help, or learning manuals, we are often offered up encouragement in many ways. Biographies tell us a story either directly from or directly about a person who did something noteworthy, often these stories contain valuable insights as we watch people, who often become idols, looking just like you and I. Biographies give us a chance to watch successful people fail and overcome failure, make mistakes and grow from them, and we often even learn what drove these people and how they maintained their motivation through difficult times. Self help and learning manuals are often written in a encouraging way as well, and as we read these types of books we often find encouragement and insight to help us keep pursuing our goals.
Reading gives us first hand, specialized knowledge and information.
A book can be found to learn almost anything you could imagine. Public speaking, car mechanics, principles of losing weight, or how to be a better parent or lover. There is no limit on the amount of information out there in the world; you can learn to do anything you could imagine. We can literally pick up a book, written by an expert in their field, for less than 20$ and learn in 100-500 pages what often took the writer many years to learn- they make their living by spoon feeding you the knowledge and experience it took them years to develop; many tasks also require a lot of practice and persistence, but there is simply no substitute for this kind of reading if you want to learn new information or develop new skills.
Reading is so valuable and so few people engage in this activity on a regular basis. If you commit to reading for 30 minutes- 2 hours per day for one month I guarantee that you will feel the difference in your mind: your ability to concentrate, think, speak, write and solve problems will increase, you can learn new skills and knowledge, and if you focus on only reading positive messages and books you will feel happier and more positive as well.